February 15, 2007

At last the Elephant!

Filed under: Shout out — Tony Bridge @ 6:20 pm


Kia ora tatou:

In what could be my last post for some time, I would like to tell you that my new website is finally live.

There are a number of new features I need to tell you about:

  1. All my blogs have migrated inside my website. From now on I will be editing them direct form within the website. Importing from the old blogs has NOT gone perfectly. As a consequence you may find a few glitches. Some are remediable; others are not. You can locate the blog ( oops, Ezine)by going to my website and clicking on Ezine in the title bar. I promise not to move again! ( well, for a long time, anyway!)
  2. There is a new newsletter form/signup. I would really appreciate it if you could visit and fill it out, then click “submit”. I am trying to build a database of friends and clients so I can contact you more readily. A number of people have signed up for my newsletter without leaving an email address….You know who you are..maybe…
  3. There is a lot more stuff to look at. OK, it isn’t perfect, but I will adjust/change as and when.
  4. I will soon have an Ecommerce facility built-in to allow online purchasing, should you so wish.
  5. Most galleries have a built-in slideshow function. Just look at the bottom of the page.
  6. I would really appreciate feedback. BB and the PRFH have been helping out in this regard and have done a sterling( if critical) job. Many thanks in deed! I foyu do find glitches, please tell me which operating system, browser (e.g. Firefox) and the version number.



December 28, 2006

Unbelievabull-roadmarx finally settles to nest (maybe)

Filed under: Shout out — Tony Bridge @ 11:40 am


Kia ora tatou:

Welcome to the new nesting place for Roadmarx. I made the move because WordPress blogging software offers me features Blogger did not, and resolves some concerns that were becoming obvious, namely my long articles chewing up too much screen space. It also allows me to import the posts from Blueprintx along with the comments, and generate separate pages. I welcome your feedback.

A few things you should note:

  1. The posts are shortened to consume less space on the main page. At the end of longer posts, you will see a more…. sign. Clicking on this will open the full article in a separate page.
  2. All the posts have been put in categories, which are available in the sidebar to the right of this page. Select a category that interests you and all the relevant posts will come up. You can then browse through them as you wish.
  3. Commenting continues unmoderated. Please have your say. Some of the regular comment posters are starting to feel lonely/embarrassed.
  4. There are new blogs of note. Foodies should check out Ilva’s blog- guaranteed to have you salivating
  5. The calendar at the bottom of the sidebar is a calendar of postings, not the date.

Finally, I am still coming to terms with the software. It’s rather more geeky than Blogger, the price one pays for flexibility. If you want to start your own blog, then I recommend Blogger. It is much simpler, if a little strangled.

Ka kite ano


December 26, 2006

Ex gratia

Filed under: Shout out — Tony Bridge @ 4:34 pm

Kia ora tatou:
2006 has been a monumental year for me in all sorts of ways, both personal and professional. It has been a year of transition, of leaving a comfortable if unchallenging life to one which has moments of pure terror and unbelievable exhilaration, of wonderful companionship and extreme alone-ness; it has been and is a transition which is still a work in progress and has yet to find some sort of concrete conclusion.

Throughout that time I have kept afloat, buoyed by the warmth and generosity of friends both here and abroad. I have been fed, sheltered and shared the lives of people in the remotest parts of Aotearoa and South Africa and constantly humbled by the kindnesses I have experienced. I have seen unbelievably beautiful landscapes and shared stories of great price. Your aroha and friendship has made this year a truly humbling experience, and your comments on this blog( to which i have not been nearly diligent enough in replying) have both encouraged and informed me.

Without you all I doubt I would have made it this far or achieved what little I have.

I am deeply grateful. I am truly humbled.

And I thank you all.

Christmas is a time for families, for togetherness and for those of us with Faith, a time of celebration. But it is special, a once-in-a-year event of great wonder. May I wish you all the very best for the season and hope that you have great happiness.

November 21, 2006

Shout out

Filed under: Shout out — Tony Bridge @ 10:21 pm


After a couple of the last few comments, it has struck me that this blog is veering way off track and that what I am putting up is becoming way too esoteric to be of much use to you. So it is time to take stock.

I originally started it up so I could keep faith with those of you whom I care about (and there are lots of you), who had been friends and/or students of mine, and whom I was unable to help in the way I wanted to because of the insane pace of my (former) life. It was a way to be there for you and to conitinue to be of service without doing( a bad job of) AP3. After all, you had paid good money to put up with my diatribes and thoughts on photography, and I felt I owed you all( I still do). Your friendship did ( and still does) really matter to me.

Then my personal life went nuclear and it was difficult to keep faith and maintain perspective. But I have tried.
loking at few of the comments of late, it occurs to me that I may be in danger of disappearing up my intellectual …..maybe , like Iago, i think too much. Maybe I have become intellectually arrogant.

I want to hear about it.

So, to all of you out here, especially those of you who visit, and don’t comment, I issue a challenge.

Tell me.

What do you need and what do you not need?

What is helpful and what is not?

What posts do you like and what do you wish there were more of?

What do you hate?

100 people a day hit this blog. I want to hear from all of you, wherever you are-and I would love to know where you are!

Help me out- I want to continue to be of service (and don’t hold back!)

As an incentive, I will personally make and freight a signed, numbered image I have made
to the comment that contributes the most to the future direction of this community. To anywhere in the world!

Just add a comment to the bottom of this post.

muchas gracias.


Vielen Dank


November 17, 2006

Exhibition Opening-an invitation

Filed under: Shout out — Tony Bridge @ 11:58 am

Kia ora tatou:

As a number of you know, I have been working towards an exhibition( well, two in fact). The first opens on December 1 at the Selwyn Gallery in Darfield.

Those of you can make it( I know it’s the party time of the year) are invited to come along and share the work, most of it from my travels this year, and have a glass of wine to celebrate. I am feeling pretty good about what is coming together.

If our only contact has been an E-friendship, I would love to meet you in person.Please make sure you introduce yourself.

If you are on my newsletter list, you will also be getting an e-invite.

Coming up soon, a technical post. I have to- Lost Pixel is on my back!

Ka kite ano

October 29, 2006

Feedback and feedforward

Filed under: Shout out — Tony Bridge @ 3:25 pm

Kia ora tatou:

As some of you may have noticed, the accent of my blog has shifted somewhat…. I am really interested in perceptions of what is currently happening and I would love you all to SAY SOMETHING! If you are hungry for gear stuff, I will do my best. If you want the latest Lotto results, well, go to the Lotto site! But some indication would be a big help! Just post a comment/give out you PIN numbers, whatever.

Blueprintx is about to move, probably some time in the next few days. I am currently hard at work rebuilding my website and James, the designer is putting a lot mre functionality into it to enable me to change images, edit text and generally be a lot more hands-on. He is also going to include an e-commerce function, so you can buy images if you wish( Christmas is almost here). When that happens I will send out a bulk email to all of you who have subscribed to the newsletter. If you haven’t and want to be kept in the loop, go here and subscribe. I promise I will only do it if it is necessary. Whatever. There will be a notice here letting you now when the last post goes up.

I mentioned a project in which I am involved. You may or may not have heard of Project Hayes. Meridian are planning to build a 176-turbine windfarm down on the Lammermoors to the South of here along the edge of the Old Dunstan road and Rural Art Deco Maniototo, to whom I am contracted, have asked me to document the area before it happens, as a record for the district. If any of you would like to be involved in the project (a perfect excuse for a weekend down here), please let me know. I need a couple of people who might be interested. Could be good material for that APSNZ submission…..

Ka kite ano

October 14, 2006

James Nachtwey

Filed under: Shout out, Thinking about Photography and Art — Tony Bridge @ 9:16 am

“I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated.”

-James Nachtwey-

In a comment to the previous post, Anonymous asked what we should “do with our phots”. I can’t answer that. It is different for each of us. But it begins with the idea that we can make a difference and extends from there. It begins with a willingness to try. It begins by asking ourselves why we photograph and using that knowledge to inform what we do.

A number of times I have mentioned people influential in my photography and how we can be informed by what the masters have done. In this post I would like to talk about one who has had a huge impact on me, on my photography and both coincidentally and consequentially, on how I feel about Life.

My acquaintance with his work began when a friend, Mark Racle, invited me to come and see a film called War Photographer, a biography of the work of James Nachtwey, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. I knew of Jim’s work, had followed it at a distance but knew little else. There were a number of us there; including what seemed to be all the press photographers in town. We sat and the projector rolled. Some 96 minutes later we all filed out. Hardly a word was spoken. There was a sobriety amongst everybody that spoke volumes.

The film tracks him through a number of wars, including Kosovo, Indonesia and Palestine. The director has placed micro-cameras on top of the camera so we get a first-person view of him working. We can hear the burning houses, his shutter tripping, people grieving and we are brought literally face to face with what he photographs on a daily basis. The director, Christian Frei, has brought reality filming techniques to a new level.

Through a series of interviews with those he works with and for, we get a better insight into how he works and, more importantly, why he works. He discusses this quite frankly and openly.

In 1985, shortly before becoming a member of the famous photo agency Magnum, then 36 years old, he wrote the following text, a credo about the relevance of his work as a war photographer.

Why photograph war? There has always been war. War is raging throughout the world at the present moment. And there is little reason to believe that war will cease to exist in the future. As man has become increasingly civilized, his means of destroying his fellow man have become ever more efficient, cruel and devastating. Is it possible to put an end to a form of human behaviour which has existed throughout history by means of photography? The proportions of that notion seem ridiculously out of balance. Yet, that very idea has motivated me.

I think it was watching the film that I began to take a harder look at my own photography, to start asking myself why I photographed. Was it just a very expensive hobby for my own amusement or was there more to it than that? Was I merely a dilettante?
( def. dil·et·tante
1. somebody who is interested in an art or a specialized field of knowledge but who has only a superficial understanding of it 2. somebody who has a passionate interest in the fine arts (dated) ) adj typical of somebody who has only a superficial understanding of something

I started to look at my own photography, to question why I photographed, and what (if any) legacy I wanted to leave. Here was a man who had spent most of a working life in the hellholes of the world, trying to make a difference. How did reflecting on this inform what I was doing? Was I doing anything, or just chewing up the Earth’s resources?

I watched the film over and over, and each time his example inspired and stirred me, as have the lives of my other heroes, Te Whiti O Rongamai, Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela. It made me see what I was doing in a different light. And to look at my own work in a different light (no pun intended.)

His friend, Denis O’Neill says of him:

“The possibility of a normal life, that’s the main conflict… and what he’s had to sacrifice to live the life that he leads… He has given everything to the job.”

A cynic could suggest that he is yet another Don Quixote, tilting at windmills, and to an extent they are probably right. The apparently natural human trend towards self-destruction seems a juggernaut impossible to slow, let alone reverse. Is it however a greater sin to try and get nowhere or not to try at all, I asked myself? I might achieve nothing concrete or I just might, minimally, move the Titanic away from the iceberg and make a difference.
Hey, it worked for Hine and Adams (see previous post).

Maybe, just maybe….

I find myself watching that film often, every time my commitment falters, every time hopelessness sets in.

Recommend it? Damn right. If your nearest arthouse video shop, doesn’t have it, you can get it here.

Ka kite ano

October 9, 2006


Filed under: Shout out — Tony Bridge @ 7:58 am

Kia ora tatou:

I promised no more Shipping News posts for a while and a post that would take some nerve for me to put online. Well, here it is. I am going to put it up because I feel it is important. It is a work in progress and subject to revision as I ponder on it, and you comment. Think of it as discussion document and a start point for something. If there is something you think should be in there, write it in a comment and I will rework the document to include it. If it becomes a group statement, so much the better.
It came about from my travels, from seeing a world under stress and wondering what can be done about it. They say that evil only flourishes when good men turn away. Individually it may seem we can do little. Collectively much can be achieved. The roman fasces really sums up what we can achieve when we work together.
If you disagree with this post, please comment. If you feel as I do, please email it to all the people you think might be interested. There is a small envelope symbol at the bottom right of the post that, when clicked, makes it easy to do so.

Imagine a world. Imagine a world without hatred and fear. Imagine a world where people lived together, working for the common good, in tune with and respectful of the planet, aware of the amazing biosphere on which we stand and determined to allow it to continue, to allow it to support us.

It is possible.

It is a Dream. Granted it is a dream, but the world needs dreams, especially now. Now, as the Earth’s resources become increasingly finite, and the dour self-absorption of the Industrial Revolution’s consumption-driven Age draws to a close. As the well of the planet begins to run dry and the pressures come on, we need to take a different direction. If we are to avoid extinction as a species, then we need to find a New Way.

For how much do we really need? Do we need as much Choice? Do we need supermarkets packed with different answers to the same question? Do we need chain stores filled with substandard answers to a need more imaginary than real? Do we really need price-driven solutions any more? How many different sets of clothes do we really need? Will another suit or a tenth pair of jeans really advance Humankind? All these perceived needs embrace Choice and worship at the Temple of Choice, the god of our age.

We have grown arrogant and disrespectful as a species. We have squandered the Earth’s resources and we have become blinded by perceptions of progress; we have confused Greed with Need and Need with Greed. And the account is about to be closed, unless we find another Way. We need to find a way through the Slough of our own Despond, to find a way to a state of Harmony with our environment.

It is there.

It begins with Education, the treasure only those without access appreciate. It begins with Understanding. It begins by recognising that Knowledge is the new Currency. We have all the pieces of the puzzle. Now it is time to bring them together, to weave the Old and the New into a tapestry for the Future of Humankind.

It is time to change the old model of learning. No longer can we sit in rows, being told what we need to know by people who were told what they needed to know by people who were told what they needed to know. The model must be rebuilt from the ground up, using the wisdom of the ages. Let us openly reconsider what has worked (and what has not), acknowledge what needs to change and move forward. Empowerment effects Change. We must empower people to learn for themselves, to acknowledge their own sovereignty and culture. We must move beyond the social strictures of an education model developed in and for the Industrial Age to one that acknowledges that education is the Right of All and the path to understanding and self-respect. That the learner is centric to the paradigm. From acknowledgement of the individual comes self-respect. From self-respect comes respect for those nearby and an awareness of their needs. We must change the model.

Before we destroy ourselves.

It begins with a willingness to acknowledge that our civilisation is under threat, because growth, the cornerstone of our economic system relies on limitless resources. And the Earth is a closed loop. The resources will not last forever. They need to be treasured, to be husbanded and used wisely, with a view to the needs of future generations.

Now is the Time for Art and Science to come together, to remarry and bear children for the Greater Good. For too long they have walked and lived separate lives. Now they must join hands and work together. Our survival depends on it.

Imagine if you will a community where the two work together, scientists alongside artists. Science explores and discovers. Art’s mission is to explain, to clarify. It is an old paradigm, but one which needs to be rediscovered to be brought back into the light.
It is time for a Community to form. And where better to begin than in New Zealand, the test bed of the world. Imagine a community where scientists and artists work together, sharing knowledge and understanding. Imagine a facility where Understanding and Acceptance are encouraged, explored and explained; where people are brought together to work for the Planet. For what is good for the planet is ultimately good for Humankind.

Our survival depends on it.

The facility must acknowledge that we are all one species, that we are one village. What were separate houses in the Darkness have joined together to form a large village. But the community must begin somewhere. And why not in New Zealand, one of the youngest countries in the world? We have the expertise, the knowledge and the skill base. We have a proud history of achievement. But we cannot ever claim ownership, for that is an Old Way.
The idea must not be limited to New Zealand. The community must be global. It must bring together people from different cultures, people with a different language paradigm, to share knowledge and vision. Artists and scientist working together. Bring discussion and debate to the table for the betterment of all. Let others see work in progress. Let others learn how things can be changed and want to effect change.

Before it is too late.

Then, as the facility becomes functional, it must be spread to the world. The model must be repeated in different countries so that the idea flourishes. The network must be global. What better way than online? Use the matrix of the Internet to disseminate ideas and understandings. Use a freely accessible network to spread information. Use Technology to change the model and you accord Technology the self-respect it deserves.
For the networks are there. As an example, consider the open-source community. People working together for a common purpose. Let us use what we have and improve on it, rather than going out to buy a new suit, because the old one bores us.

For the Earth is a finite entity. If we take, we must put back. If we use, we must use wisely and with an eye to the future, to the needs of those who will come after us. It is time (it is past time) for a new line in our economic balance sheet. Global responsibility. Those who have taken freely must be prepared to give back to those yet to receive. We must look beyond the short span of our individual lives, our personal balance sheets to the needs of our communities and those who will follow. A willingness to use wisely and, where possible, to put back benefits everybody.

As ye give, so shall ye receive.

As photographers, we use resources provided by the Earth to record our vision of the Earth. Photography can do more than that. We can use it to effect change. We can use it to bring to people’s consciousness what is happening. And what needs to be done. It is not a new idea. Ansel Adams’ images brought an end to the destruction of the wilderness areas in the United States. Lewis Wicks Hine used his talents to bring about the introduction of child labour laws and an end to the exploitation of the young in factories and mines. Both made a difference. Photography has the power to bring about a change.

Let us use it for that purpose.

In my workshops and travels I have met many of you who make truly beautiful images. I have also met and talked with photographers and artists looking to make images for a reason.

Here is one possibility.

Ka kite ano.

Tony Bridge.
Ranfurly, New Zealand
Saturday October 7, 2006

October 4, 2006

Shipping News volume 26

Filed under: Shout out — Tony Bridge @ 10:11 pm

Kia ora tatou:

The more observant among you may have noticed the shift in the profile details in the sidebar to the left. I am now ensconced (a painful surgical process..) in my Art Deco flat in Ranfurly. Again I extend a warm welcome to any of you passing by or who want to come for a couple of days.

I have hardly had time to breathe before a major project has come up. More about it as the dust settles… nice to see the snow retreating back along the eyebrows of the Hawkdun Mountains and those long languid G&T evenings beginning…

At the moment my website is undergoing a refit, a bit like Grandpa’s axe or a RNZAF Hercules. When it is done, the dead pages will be gone, a gallery ( that I can edit) will be in, and Blueprintx will be brought into the site and blended with it. Please tell me if there is anything I should change/add/improve.

My apologies to those of you I have been tardy in getting back to-bandwidth has been a real issue for some time, but now I have made a (Faustian?) pact with Vodafone for their new Wunder3G broadband service, I should be able to reply a lot more promptly.

Enough of the plumbing news.

I promise a really serious post next time-if I have the nerve to post it!

Ka kite ano

September 27, 2006

Points of Information

Filed under: Shout out — Tony Bridge @ 6:50 am

Kia ora tatou:

Some service notices here. I have made some adjustments to the way the blog works. Any comments you post should automatically go onto the blog rather than routing via me. This means the world can see your input straight away.

Chapter 206a in the Where is Wally saga:

It looks as if I am moving( this weekend) back to my hometown of Ranfurly. I have accepted an artist-in-residenceship in the district, which means I will be there for the next year or so. It feels good to be going back to my roots. For those of you offshore, try finding it on Google Earth! There isn’t a bustling metropolis close by. It goes without saying that there is a bed/cuppa/welcome for any of you drifting past-or who want to come and stay.

I intend to offer more workshops and tuition once the dishes are done.

I also have 2 shows coming up, so earmark 1 December for a show at the Selwyn Gallery in Darfield. You will all get an invite!

Ka kite ano

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